Bridgwater & Taunton
Steart Marshes
Burnham & Cheddar
Quantock Hills
Along the Line of the West Somerset Railway


Hestercombe  Gardens are open to the public, run by a charitable trust, this page has some views of them, arranged in the order we walked around, duplication is used to show how they vary with the seasons.  Hestercombe House is an admin centre for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue and Somerset County Council and is not open to the public, however the garden trust is in the process of buying the house parts of which will be opened in due course.

The newest photos are included at the top full size, older ones have thumbnails to click which are in order of a walk around the gardens.

On 7 April the weather had warmed a bit but was still unseasonably cold and the sun disappeared while we were there but I got a few pics.

The daffodils were probably past their best but still looked good on the slope above Pear Pond

Above & below More daffs the other side of the pond.

Although it hasn't rained recently there's plenty of water running down through the ponds.

Above & below These beds in front of the house were full of colour.

Hestercombe House now belongs to the Gardens Trust.

Our walk on 15 January had some wintery scenes, the waterfall and weirs were reminding us of the amount of rain we've had recently - but the sun was shining!

Snow at Hestercombe Gardens

The area in front of the mausoleum had most of the snow.

Snow on the rustic seat at Hestercombe

The Rustic Seat had a dusting of snow on its thatched roof.

Giant Cascade waterfall at Hestercombe

The Giant Cascade was flowing fast and furious after all the recent rain.

Water cascades out of Pear Pond

There was plenty of water flowing out of Pear Pond as well.

View across the Mill Pond

A view across the Mill Pond with the water cascading in steps down from Pear Pond.

Octagon summerhouse above the ponds

The Octagon Summerhouse viewed through the trees with Mill Pond in the left foreground.

Poodle and swan study eachother

Our miniature poodle Charlie and the resident swan eyeing each other up by the mill sluice gate.

Wintery trees at Hestercombe

These further down in their autumn glory, such a contrast!

Winter colour in the formal garden

A touch of winter colour in the formal garden in front of Hestercombe House.

Will we get a treat?

Our two dogs hoping for a titbit as we had lunch in Hestercombe's restaurant - yes, persistence did pay off!

This next batch is of autumn colours seen on 11 November 2012 - a bright, sunny day which made the colours of many of the trees really glow.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

From light through shade to light.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

Looking down on Pear Pond and a tree that looks to be floodlit.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

Another view down across Pear Pond.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

This row was really catching the sun.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

Looking across Pear Pond again at the variety of colours.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

View along Pear Pond with Taunton hidden in a distant haze.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

No maples in the gardens so this was the reddest tree we saw.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

A variety of colours - and the resident swan.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

Looking up through a tree with many leaves turned, others still green - a late autumn in the respect, probably because the trees hadn't been stressed by drought during our damp summer!

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

A mix of trees whose leaves had turned, some that hadn't and some that had all fallen.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

One of the summer houses framed by the variegated colours of the nearby trees.

Autumn colours at Hestercombe Gardens

This tree is a magnificent sight every autumn.

Holly at Hestercombe Gardens

The holly had plenty of berries to feed the birds during the winter.

From here down click on a photo to see it full size in a new browser window

Army hut at Hestercombe

The house was used by the Army during WWII, this hut survives as a reminder of that era in the house's history.


Hestercombe House

Turning round from taking the above was this view of the house with its distinctive tower.


Bluebells at Hestercombe landscape garden

Bluebells grace the hillside above the ponds.



View across Pear Pond

Looking across Pear Pond with the Mausoleum opposite.



Pear Pond

A swan reflecting in Pear Pond.



Pear Pond

View over Pear Pond at Hestercombe

Two views of and over Pear Pond



Autumn colours by Pear Pond

Autumn colours are starting to dominate in this view across Pear Pond.



Daffodils on the valley side above Pear Pond

Daffodils on the valley side at Hestercombe

Daffodils in these March view of the valley slopes above Pear Pond.



Waterfall at Hestercombe

A waterfall feeding Pear Pond.



Autumn colours from above the waterfall

Looking down on autumn colours from above the waterfall, the Rustic Seat is also visible.





Weir at the bottom of Box Pond

The weir at the end of Box Pond.



Moorhens on Box Pond

A family of Moorhens on Box Pond.



Duckling on Box Pond

A solitary duckling on Box Pond



View up Box Pond

A view up Box Pond.



Reflections in Box Pond

Reflections in Box Pond

There can be some beautiful reflections in Box Pond as these two show.



Autumn colours by Box Pond

The autumn colours were starting to show in this view of Box Pond.



Fish in Box Pond, Hestercombe

Fish in Box Pond, Hestercombe

Fish - roach I think - in Box Pond at Hestercombe.



Charcoal burning at Hestercombe

Near the bottom end of Box Pond is the Charcoal Burners Camp.



Box Pond

View down Box Pond Followed by views down Box Pond.



Verdant valley

A view down the verdant valley from Box Pond



Above Box Pond.

The path along Box Pond has been replaced by one higher up the valley side, this gives views such as this over the pond.



Wildflowers and a butterfly

Wildflowers Wildflowers and a butterfly in the long grass of the valley.



Water flowing out of Box Pond

Water flowing out of Box Pond, most will go along a channel on the valley side to feed the waterfall.


Pond at Hestercombe

Pond at Hestercombe Uppermost pond in the gardens.



Gothic Alcove at Hestercombe

Up out of the valley is the Gothic Alcove which has a marvellous view out across Taunton.

Panoramic view from the Gothic Alcove

Panoramic view from the Gothic Alcove.

Panoramic view from high in the Laandscape Garden

Another panoramic view from the highest part of the Landscape Garden


Waterfall at Hestercombe

Waterfall seen across the valley Waterfall from across the valley. Views of the waterfall feeding the ponds, this time from above and across the valley.




Temple Arbour, Hestercombe

The Temple Arbour, the garden has plenty of places like this and the Gothic Alcove in which to shelter from sun or rain if needs be.


View from Temple Arbour

The Arbour has a beautiful view across the Pear Pond to Taunton and the Blackdown Hills.


Looking through the trees up to the Temple Arbour

The reverse view looking up to Temple Arbour from by the pond.





Witch House at Hestercombe

Another little shelter, the Witch House nestling in the trees.



View of the Mausoleum, Witch House and Temple Alcove

A photo taken from Capriccio View through the trees including the Mausoleum, the Witch House and Temple Arbour.




View to the pond down through the trees

Looking down from near the Arbour to Pear Pond.



Leaning tree on boundary.

This tree on the boundary of the garden has grown at quite and angle!





Tulips at Hestercombe

Tulips at Hestercombe

Tulips at Hestercombe

Tulips at Hestercombe

A superb display of tulips on the "upper level".


Turkish tent by the tulips at Hestercombe

As tulips originate from Turkey this Turkish Tent had been erected as part of the display.


Tulips in cafe at Hestercombe

Tulip in the cafe at Hestercombe

As part of the tulip theme (in May 2009) the excellent café was decorated with tulips.  Nice lunches, nice coffee, nice cakes, nice surroundings...


Wildflowers at Hestercombe

There is a valley bottom route back from the top ponds, along the way the grass was covered with wild flowers.


The Mausoleum

Mausoleum at Hestercombe The Mausoleum - not sure if it is actually one or if that is just a name!



The Mausoleum from above

A view down through the trees to the Mausoleum.




Valley above Pear Pond.

The valley above Pear Pond with snowdrops and a few daffodils hanging on into April.



Daffodils reflected in the pond

Daffodils on the slopes of the landscape garden at Hestercombe

Daffodils and reflections at Hestercombe.  Daffodils reflected in Pear Pond and on the slope below the Mausoleum.


Autumn view across Pear Pond, Hestercombe

An autumn view across Pear pond with the leaves just starting to turn.



Across Pear Pond to the Pagoda.

A view across Pear Pond to the Pagoda.



Moorhen nesting at Hestercombe

A straw bale - used to control algae - makes a handy nest site for a Moorhen.



Victorian Shrubbery at Hestercombe

Victorian Shubbery at Hestercombe

Shrubbery at Hestercombe Gardens

Three views of the Victorian Shrubbery.



The Octagon at Hestercombe Gardens

The gardens abound with summerhouses, this one, the Octagon, has been completely rebuilt as the original had gone.  It looks down over the bottom of Pear Pond.





View up Pear Pond

A view looking up from the bottom of Pear Pond.



Weir below Pear Pond

Outfall from Pear Pond The outfall from Pear Pond.



Mill Pond at Hestercombe

Looking across the Mill Pond towards the dam holding Pear Pond.



Mill Pond, the Octagon and the dam at the bottom of Pear Pond.

View across Mill Pond with the Octagon on the slope opposite, the dam at the bottom of Pear Pond - and the resident swan on Mill Pond.


Swan on Mill Pond.

Close up of the swan, which I think is a male from the size of the "berry" above his beak, he lost his mate some years ago and now leads a lonely life even building a nest in case a mate arrives.


Autumn colours at Hestercombe

Autumn colours at Hestercombe

Autumn colours by the first part of the formal gardens.



Formal garden at Hestercombe

We now go from the Landscape Garden to the Formal Garden.



The Orangery at Hestercombe

The Orangery which overlooks a large lawn.


Inside the Orangery at Hestercombe

Inside the Orangery



Fountain in the Formal Garden

This fountain in the Formal Garden fascinated our dog!





Formal Garden at Hestercombe

Fountain on the Victorian Terrace at Hestercombe Two view of the Victorian Terrace.



View from the Victorian Terrace

An alcove on the edge of the terrace has a lovely view out over Taunton Deane towards the Blackdown Hills.



Formal Garden at Hestercombe

A view of the main part of the Formal Garden.



Formal garden at Hestercombe

Formal garden at Hestercombe

Formal garden at Hestercombe

Three more of the formal gardens in August.



Floral steps in the formal gardens at Hestercombe

These steps out of the formal garden as well decorated with flowers.



Hestercombe House across the Formal Garden

Hestercombe House seen across the Formal Garden.



Hestercombe House viewed across the Formal Garden

Another view across the garden with the house beyond.



Hestercombe House

Hestercombe House across another part of the garden.



Flower beds in front of Hestercombe House.

Flower bed in front of Hestercombe House.

Two views of flower beds in front of Hestercombe House.



Hestercombe House

The front of Hestercombe House with the carriage circle leading to the door.



Step to the landscape garden in front of the house.

These steps lead from the carriage circle up to the shrubbery and landscape gardens.



Formal garden and view over Taunton.

The view looking back from the exit over the formal garden with Taunton and the Blackdown Hills in the background.


To learn more about the gardens visit their site http://www.hestercombe.com

Visit our Travel Centre for train, ferry and tunnel bookings.


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This site was last updated 07/04/2013